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[26] 8. LAELIUS. Really you are employing violence; for what matters it what means you take of forcing me? Forcing me you certainly are. For it is not only hard, but not even right, to withstand the earnest requests of one's sons-in-law, particularly in a good cause.

The oftener, therefore, I reflect on friendship the more it seems to me that consideration should be given to the question, whether the longing for friendship is felt on account of weakness and want, so that by the giving and receiving of favours one may get from another and in turn repay what he is unable to procure of himself; or, although this [p. 139] mutual interchange is really inseparable from friendship, whether there is not another cause, older, more beautiful, and emanating more directly from Nature herself. For it is love (amor), from which the word “friendship” (amicitia) is derived, that leads to the establishing of goodwill. For while it is true that advantages are frequently obtained even from those who, under a pretence of friendship, are courted and honoured to suit the occasion; yet in friendship there is nothing false, nothing pretended; whatever there is is genuine and comes of its own accord.

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